Business Writing

A Few Expressions to Avoid

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Sometimes we fall into the trap of using standard expressions and clichés when we write. Don’t get me wrong—some standard expressions are useful. The problem comes when the expressions are outdated, or use too many words to communicate their meaning.

Think about cutting these from your writing.

Thanking you in advance/thanking you in anticipation

These two suggest to the writer that you don’t want to bother to write to them again. Why not just write your request politely (for example, “Will you please …), and then, later if it’s appropriate, write a letter, note or email, of acknowledgement.

The foreseeable future

How’s your crystal ball? Mine doesn’t work, and very little of the future is foreseeable. This is a cliché that is virtually meaningless. Unless you are absolutely sure that you can foresee the future, dump it.

At this point in time

This is a favourite of politicians the world over. Or so it seems. There is a simple, elegant, short word that conveys the meaning beautifully—now.

If you don’t agree with me, and you think that all language has its place, take a look at this strategy jargon generator, and have a laugh.

Happy writing